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It’s an argument nigh as old as the modern American gun control debate itself: If you don’t know guns, you can’t argue for gun control. Anti-gunners have demonstrated a complete lack of any sort of actual firearms knowledge over the years, and the Second Amendment defenders haven’t pulled any punches letting them know about it.
Thanks, in large part, to Adam Weinstein’s piece in The Washington Post, the left has taken to turning it around on gun owners, accusing them of a sort of intellectual bullying called “gunsplaining.” Sure, some gun nerds do on occasion take it a bit far, but to be fair, we have three entirely valid reasons to do so – even if it does get a little condescending or patronizing from time to time.
Ignorance is Annoying
It’s entirely understandable that people who aren’t interested in owning guns don’t care to learn about them. I don’t know much of anything about sewing – and that’s fine. I have no interest in taking it up either as a hobby or profession, and so couldn’t care less about learning the relevant terminology.
However, I have no plans to attack the legal right to sew. For those who have no interest in firearms, but still respect the rights of others to keep and bear arms, there’s nothing wrong with being ignorant on the subject.
Gun control advocates, on the other hand, are about the most annoying people on the planet to gun owners. Most of them know next to nothing about guns, routinely actively advocate for legal change using grossly inaccurate terminology, and then have the audacity to demand that we grant their uninformed and uneducated opinions the same consideration as those of actual subject matter experts. Imagine I know nothing about your hobby or profession, but still demand you allow me to impose restrictions on it. So yes, when someone says that AR-15s are the weapon of choice for mass murders, they’re going to get “gunsplained,” I won’t be particularly nice about it, and yes, they have it coming. It’s just insulting. Additionally, those who vehemently argue from a position of ignorance appear foolish to those who actually know the subject. And it’s difficult to take a fool seriously.
Ignorance is Lazy
As mentioned before, no one should expect a person who doesn’t intend to enter the gun control debate to bother learning about firearms if they aren’t interested in the subject. However, those who wish to restrict or repeal the Second Amendment absolutely should. A basic understanding should be a prerequisite to any gun debate.
Arguing any opinion from a position of ignorance is lazy. When it’s a one on one argument with low or no stakes, you should put in the effort to educate yourself on the subject before speaking. But when you’re trying to enact legal and social change, you must.
Merely saying that you’re anti-gun is not an excuse for that ignorance. I’m anti-abortion, and before I took up arguing the matter, I learned some pertinent facts. I did this not because I’m interested in abortions or find them particularly entertaining – but because I care very deeply on the subject and owe it to myself, my fellow abolitionists, the unborn children, and even to the opposition.
How can anyone be expected to believe that gun control activists actually care about either the victims of gun violence or the issue of individual liberty and the right to self-defense? Consider the recent student demonstrators from Parkland, Florida. Do they really care about their slain classmates?
How much are those 17 lives worth if they aren’t worth learning that more mass shootings are carried out with handguns than rifles? How much can they really care if they didn’t bother to pay attention enough to know that the shooter at their own school didn’t use high capacity magazines or any accessories that simulate automatic fire?
Their – and indeed, most anti-gun activists’ – arguments contain so many blatant falsehoods that they’re either too lazy to learn easily discoverable facts or they’re flat out lying. Either way, they clearly don’t care about gun victims half as much as they would like us to believe.
Ignorance is Dangerous
Aside from lazy and annoying, insisting on arguing over the right to keep and bear arms from a position of ignorance is dangerous. People who look at scary, black guns with vertical grips and Picatinny rails and accessories and immediately assume that they’re deadlier than the same weapon with a traditional wood stock design are a real threat. They pose a more immediate, and more realistic threat to American Liberty than any foreign power on the planet – and far too many of them sit in Congress.
Consider the Colorado Democrat who once said that banning high capacity magazines would eventually make them go away – you know, because once all the bullets have been fired, the magazine is gone – or the anti-gun senator who held up a rifle and said that it was capable of emptying a – pay attention here – .30 caliber clip in half a second.
These are the people who are paid to make our laws. This is insanely lazy – many were actually elected specifically to advance gun control, and they can’t even bother to learn the basics. But far worse, it’s dangerous. Sure, De Leon’s example is quite humorous. What do we do, ban .30 caliber magazine or clip fed guns? Nope – no five-round magazine for your bolt-action .308 deer rifle, but go right on ahead and load up that 30-round mag for that .223 AR-15 you bought for home defense.
But what about these Parkland kids who say that since Cruz used a semi-automatic rifle, we should ban all semi-automatic weapons? Never mind the speed at which many bolt action, lever action, and pump action guns can be fired, that semi-auto catch-all would ban ARs and AKs, many rifles and shotguns built for hunting, and almost all handguns – even most revolvers. So let’s stop a moment and unpack that logic: Since Cruz shot up his school with an AR-15, you can’t buy a double-action revolver for self-defense.
We Need MORE Gunsplaining
Americans have a lot to lose by allowing the left to argue so vehemently and effectively from a position of ignorance. If it were only a few uninformed urbanites, it wouldn’t be an issue – but it isn’t. We’re talking about vast droves of anti-gun activists – including some with significant wealth and political clout.
Gunsplaining is an apparent evolution of mansplaining – men explaining things, typically to women, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing. Believe what you will about mansplaining – I won’t even get into that – but the act of gunsplaining is as necessary as the idea of it is ridiculous. Those dangerous fools who refuse to learn the facts pertinent to their own arguments and our rights are annoying, lazy, and dangerous. They don’t deserve our respect; they – and we – need more gunsplaining, not less.